MUSICIANS Long after their deaths, many Washington-born musicians remain icons. They continue to wield influence over an entire industry, and connect with fans in a way that history rarely replicates.

Despite the death of Jimi Hendrix in 1970, musicians still call him the greatest guitarist who ever lived. In 1992, Kurt Cobain and Nirvana helped end the reign of hair metal bands and introduced the planet to the Northwest grunge scene. Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas,” released back in 1942, remains the world’s best-selling single of all time. Combined, the artists have sold more than one billion albums across the world.

“Music is my life. It’s about life and feelings, and you must take time for it like any other occupation. In my case, I sacrifice a part of my soul every time. There are also certain moments when I feel I’ve got to write, especially before I go off to sleep, when all the thoughts run through my brain. My guitar is my medium and I want everybody to get into it. I want to turn the world on. Music and sound waves are cosmic when they vibrate from one side to the other.”
- Jimi Hendrix

“Punk is musical freedom.
It’s saying, doing and playing
what you want. In Webster’s terms,
‘nirvana’ means freedom from pain,
suffering and the external world, and that’s
pretty close to my definition of Punk Rock. By
definition pop is extremely catchy, whether you like it or not. There are some pop songs I hate but I can’t get them out of my head. Our songs have a standard pop format: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, bad solo.”

- Kurt Cobain

“When all is said and done, my favorite music is Dixieland music. I can get up in the morning after a restless night, feeling blue and depressed, put on a few LPs featuring Eddie Condon’s band or Red Nichols or Louis Armstrong—or any practitioner of the cult, for that matter—and after a half hour of this music I’m picked up and ready to go again.”
-Bing Crosby